Money makes the world go round, a point evident more than anywhere else in the sport of football, and this weekend’s clash between Man City and Chelsea sees the richest two sports sides in England, if not the world, battling it out for three points in the Premier League.
12:45pm: When sensible people will still be in bed recovering from a big Friday on the tiles trying to remember what that bright purple stain on the back of their brand new white shirt is. Up in Manchester THE game of the weekend will be kicking off to the strains of City’s age-old anthem Blue Moon. Chelsea currently sit in their castle atop the Premier League with a maximum return of 15 points from their opening five games against teams putting up about as much resistance as a drunk man to the advances of the bar itself.
Midweek showed that they can be beaten, albeit they fielded a weakened side as it was the Carling Cup, but such dignitaries as football’s number one womanizer, John Terry, still played so it was hardly like they were putting out the under 12s for a runaround.
Man City, on the other hand, are clinging on to a place in the top four and a win here could really do them some good in the “being taken seriously” league table. In terms of the money league they’re well and truly top thanks to the trillions upon trillions of Abu Dhabi monies that have been pumped into the club’s coffers, but they, like Chelsea, were also dumped out of the League Cup.
Weakened sides has become a recurring theme with these two sides, and it has culminated this weekend as both are missing key players. City boss Roberto Mancini has today had to deflect criticism of his training regimes from a number of angles after it was found that he was openly encouraging cage fighting to toughen up his side for the winter visits to Stoke, Bolton, Blackburn et al. Unfortunately all it did was make their entire defence become injured after Yaya and Kolo Toure formed a formidable tag team that beat the shit outta everyone. This all means that chief executive Garry Cook, chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarek, and Mancini himself will be filling in at the back.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have also been hit with the injury bug, but not because Carlo Ancelotti has been trying out new coaching regimes, although trying to teach the team his eyebrow trick did get a few puzzled glares from onlookers. His problem is due to the canteen staff at the training ground, and the fact that they keep ordering in the wrong type of pie for Frank Lampard resulting in a loss of fitness. Rumours that Frank keeps amending the inventory look as though they aren’t that far off the mark, as the list keeps changing from “low-fat” to “high-carb.” Really Frank, before you know it you it Adrian Chiles will have your bird back where he think she should be – and that’s not on the BBC – and you’ll be playing in the third division for Aldershot Town!
City really could announce themselves here though, especially if they do go through with having the half the board room fill in the gaps at the back, and Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has managed to get the entire starting eleven doing the eyebrow trick in sync at the start of the game.